Saturday, 13 January 2018

5 Tips for Improving Your Blog Photography


Hey Guys,


Today I have another "blogging tips" post for you. In July 2016 I wrote about how I created my media kit , a post I hope people found useful. Although blogging tips are not something I write about regularly, I have recently been experimenting with my photography set up at home, so thought I would share my top tips. 

This post has kindly been sponsored by Panasonic, who have recently released a brand new 4K Wildlife & Sports Camera! Features include up to 30k optical zoom, 4K photo and video all in a sleek compact design, making it the perfect camera for travel, blogging, and making memories. I think a great camera is important when it comes to my blog photography, but now I am jumping ahead to tip number 2! Let's start right at the beginning...

Tip One:

Lighting


Now, it's no secret that a photograph should be well lit. When it comes to lighting, natural light is best where possible. Most bloggers when starting out (including myself) rely on natural light as a way of lighting their images. I was reluctant to spend a lot of money on blogging equipment when I was starting out. It's only recently that I decided to invest in my YouTube channel and purchase some affordable lighting equipment. However, the lights I purchased have turned out to be extremely useful with my product photography too! 

After lots of research and a good scroll through eBay, I managed to find this set of two soft-box lights for under £30 for the pair! I thought it was a great investment into my set up and after just a couple of months, they have really shown their worth. 

Bonus tip: Before investing in the lighting, I took a mini step by purchasing this reflector panel which was very handy at reflecting natural light onto my subjects. It also comes in handy on my blogger fashion shoots. The gold side reflects sunlight to create gorgeous, golden close ups of my face (minimal editing with these bad boys!)




Tip Two:

The Camera


My DSLR camera was the first piece of blogging equipment I bought. It was spring of 2016 when I decided to take the leap from iPhone photography, and invest in a second hand Canon 500D for £120. I found my camera on Gumtree which can definitely be a gamble when it comes to buying pricey things (be wary for scammers etc), but luckily I have a good sense of danger and I made sure everything was legit before handing over my money!

Since purchasing, my Canon has become one of the most important things in my life! It has travelled the world with me, allowed me to create quality content and was holding my hand as I took my first baby steps into the YouTube pond. 
If you have the budget, I would definitely recommend doing some research and purchasing a great camera, new or second hand, that will really work well for your needs. For example mirrorless DSLR cameras such as my Sony a5000 is great for vlogging with its compact nature and flip up screen, but it also takes DSLR quality still images - great for popping in your handbag for on the go, all-day blogging.



Tip Three:

Props



Blog props can go a long way. From a floral arrangement blurred in the background of a summer flat lay, to candles and plants. I find that blog props really lift an image and create a more lifestyle-inspired look rather than a static product image. I personally prefer these styles of shots. Sinead Crowe is a blogger whose photography I really admire, along with Kate Lavie

I would recommend keeping your eye out in pound shops, homeware stores and accessory shops such as IKEA, Hema and Tiger for affordable, yet cute, blog props! Find a style you like and use your props to create a theme for your feed (if you enjoy having a theme) or to create a story around the product or items you are featuring. 

Tip Four:

The Camera Lens


I started off with the 18-55mm kit lens that comes with the Canon 500D. That lens is great for a photography beginner as it has a good distance, it zooms in and out and uses auto focus. However, after some more googling, I discovered the blogger's holy grail - the 50mm prime lens. Prime means the lens doesn't zoom in or out so you have to physically move to get closer or further away. But this lens is amazing for outfit shots and for creating great quality product photos. The blurry effect you often see on images is created with lenses such as the 50mm lens. There are a few different types of 50mm lens depending on the camera aperture or model, but after a few Google searches and YouTube tutorials, you should be totally clued up on which one is best for you! 

I went for a super budget friendly 50mm lens to experiment with before investing in a high quality Canon lens. This eBay find is just £42.69 and has created all of the images in this blog post! 



Tip Five:

All The Extras


Filters
Instagram filters are a classic go-tool tool, but did you know there are other ways to edit your images into the perfect hues and tones? No, I am not talking about VSCO Cam! Many computers and phones have their own, free, built-in gradients and filters. I use my Macbook Pro and iPhone's built-in editing features to adjust the image's lighting, sharpness and temperature. I like the idea of editing before uploading on Instagram so I know what the image will look like before being compressed by the app and so I can see the image against my others in the UNUM app. 

Camera Accessories
I know I have mentioned eBay loads during this post, but it is honestly the best way to find photography equipment for low prices. I purchased things like memory cards, spare batteries, camera bags and tripods, most for less than £8.00! Here are some examples and links to things I have purchased:




Phew, well there you have it! Thank you if you made it this far. I hope you found this post informative and useful. If you have any questions about anything mentioned, or anything else, please do send me a tweet or an Instagram message. 
I would also love to know if you'd find a YouTube video about this interesting? 

Let me know! 

Eb x